I am publishing a collection of short stories as an e-book. Concluding a series of posts on that subject, I’m setting a price for that content today, subject to further modifications, complications, frustrations and disturbances in the time-space pricing continuum, as prophesied below.
$4.99. That will be the price of my short story collection on Smashwords*, where I’ll be making the work available as an e-book. To the extent that I have now answered this vexing question, I am relieved. To the extent that I have unwittingly uncovered a new and nightmarish parallel problem, I wish I had been born with no curiosity and wealthy parents.
Why $4.99? Well, I can’t point to any single determining factor. Rather, I took everything I learned over the past few weeks (and months) and tried to find a price that met the evolving criteria without contravening my basic assumptions, which included:
- No free/freemium pricing.
- No price above $10, because that’s getting into (discount) print-book territory.
- All things being equal (meaning equally profitable), a lower price is better because it produces more readers.
- Psychological price points matter. $4.99 is much better than $5.01.
Particularly helpful was data from Smashwords CEO Mark Coker, which pegged pricing sweet spots at the $5 and $9 price points. Following the maxim that a lower price is better when profit is the same, I chose the $5 price point over the $9 price point because I thought it would spur demand, and because I thought $9 for an e-book was simply too close to the low end of current print-book and print-on-demand (POD) pricing. [ Read more ]